From my new essay in Standpoint magazine:
If you hadn’t noticed that the Philharmonia Orchestra has a new chief conductor, don’t feel too bad about it. The appointment by a disappearing London institution of yet another double-barrelled Finn is unlikely to set hearts pounding in Penge or points south, no matter how gifted the young chap might be. Santtu-Matias Rouvali his name is, and he told The Times in a PR interview that he rips the hide off woodland deer before cooking it—anything to obtain a sliver of public attention. Well, that’s pretty much all the general public are ever going to hear about him….
The last maestro to win popular acclaim died earlier this year amid fond chuckles and snobbish disparagement. André Previn never inspired the overwhelming confidence of musicians. The LSO leader John Georgiadis recalls in a new memoir, Bow to Baton, that he responded to Previn’s appointment with the declaration: “I greet this news with utter dismay!” Things got no better…
But….. Read on here.
When you’ve finished, watch the less-viewed comeback version of the immortal Mr Preview: